Innovative Solutions to achieve Green Consumerism
A product life-cycle approach to sustainability measures a company's total environmental impact—from raw materials, to production, distribution, consumer use, and disposal of the product by the consumer (Kearney, 2021). Considering a wider range of activities requires a larger investment of resources than a traditional approach to sustainability.
The company has a unique opportunity to examine its global impact across all categories and geographic regions. Targets can be set to maximize firmwide efforts and functions can work together to develop mutually beneficial initiatives. This can help standardize the sustainability approach. By doubling the average number of items purchased per e-commerce transaction and avoiding split shipments, retailers can reduce average per-item emissions by 30 percent (Cheris, et al., 2017).
Advantages Of The End-to-end Product Life-cycle Approach:
It helps identify drivers of environmental impact: Company can identify drivers within or outside of the its direct control. It will help understand environmental interactions, identify the future impact of consumer behaviour, and forecast external shifts (Kearney, 2021).
Figure: Retailers can lower carbon emissions by encouraging shoppers to cluster purchases
Source: Bain & Company, 2017
Omnichannel retailers can offer customers who shop online the option of picking up their purchases at a store the same day. That combined approach is typically more efficient in cost and carbon than shipping items to a customer’s home. Retailers who don’t have the benefit of an extensive store network can establish their own pickup locations near customers or partner with other retailers for space (Cheris, et al., 2017). Shipping items to customers from a local store rather than a distribution centre can minimize longer-haul shipping (Cheris, et al., 2017).
Omnichannel retailers can mix and match their physical and online channels to lower their environmental impact while offering customers greater flexibility (Cheris, et al., 2017). Life-cycle assessment (LCA) can help promote and achieve sustainable consumption and production (Hertwich, 2005).
Question to be answered is, who causes how much of which impact and how consumption patterns can be changed to reduce these impacts. Companies are actively engaged in efforts to develop solutions for post-consumer waste like textile-to-textile recycling technologies, some of which are now reaching industrial scale (BOF, 2020d).
Use of sustainable material alternatives like recycled synthetic materials, for example, recycled polyester and econyl; natural fibres like (Speranskaya et al., 2021). Speranskaya et al. (2021) propose the use of “STOPLIGHT” LABELLING to indicate the composition of the clothing item to the consumer for informed decision making. They also suggest using QR codes to access a detailed report about the article.
Circular Business Models
Circular consumer experience entails that brands enable ways of returning garments into a circular cycle—not having to carry them back to the store but having them picked up, without any hassle, at your doorstep—and with a brand actually knowing what you have in your wardrobe, bidding for that, and sending you reminders of what would be great to bring back into the circularity cycle, then mass participation of consumers will happen (Granskog, 2020).